Technology helps patients with language barriers communicate wit - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

Technology helps patients with language barriers communicate with physicians

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SIOUX CITY (KTIV) -

When an emergency occurs communicating with a doctor can be a daunting task. 

Having a language barrier with health professionals can make getting through an emergency all the more difficult. 

New technology is helping doctors and nurses to communicate with patients that don't speak the same language. 

"So, our system that we use, the Video Remote Interpreting has 19 languages via audio and over 200 languages via phone" says Wendy Prins, UnityPoint - St. Luke's Director of Nursing Administration.

The new system is on a tablet that makes it easy for staff and patients to use. 

The system has translators that can speak with the patient to find out whats going on. 
    
"For us we really realized over the last couple years that we're seeing different languages and different cultures here in our community. So, this for us was a really important step. You know, we don't have staff on sight that maybe speak Russian or French so, this allows us when those types of patients come into our hospital, we're able to communicate with them" says Prins. 

The system also communicates with the patient what they are being prescribed and exactly how much they need to take.

Patients will see the translator on the tablet screen. 

Prins says being able to understand what the physician is saying eases the patient in a scary situation. 

UnityPoint - St. Luke's started using Language Remote Interpreter in December and uses the technology daily. 

UnityPoint - St. Luke's isn't the only area hospital using this technology to communicate with patients. 

Buena Vista Regional Medical Center in Storm lake also has the technology. 

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